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How one team's data operation paid off and the player signed sight unseen: An excerpt from 'Net Gains'

Related Topics: Tim Sparv, Christian Eriksen

The following is an edited excerpt from Ryan O'Hanlon's forthcoming book, "Net Gains: Inside the Beautiful Game's Analytics Revolution." The book comes out tomorrow (Oct. 18), and you can order a copy here or purchase one from your local bookseller. This excerpt comes from a chapter about the ongoing efforts -- and continued failures -- to truly quantify the value of midfield play.

"It was something new and foreign to me," Tim Sparv said. "I was bought because of stats and data."

It would not be wrong to call Sparv the Sergio Busquets of Finland.